Explain supports Northumbrian Water Group Innovation Festival

Explain supports NWG Innovation Festival – uniquely channelling innovation in a five day festival

A summer festival in the North East, celebrating and showcasing innovation, stemmed from some blue sky thinking by their Group Information Services Director, Nigel Watson. Last week Northumbrian Water Group (NWG) held their week-long Innovation Festival, demonstrating their commitment to leading the way on sector innovation.

Taking place at Newcastle Racecourse, with a full festival programme of events, the overarching theme of the week was to gather some of the world’s leading businesses in one place to tackle major social and environmental issues. These were addressed through a range of week-long design sprints, bringing together innovative minds, to explore and create new solutions.

The festival opened on Monday with 400 people singing Foo Fighters’ 'Learn to Fly', setting the tone for the whole week. Before tackling some of the big challenges that face them, festival goers could enjoy morning yoga in the wellness tent, followed by freshly pressed super fruit smoothies to focus the mind for the day ahead.

As a key research partner for NWG, Explain Market Research spent the week at the festival engaging with businesses, stakeholders and customers on a number of topics to enable in-the-moment feedback from the event, and gather the views of those in attendance as part of a wider programme of research relating to NWG’s business planning.

Throughout the festival, we encouraged attendees to ‘Have Your Say’ on what mattered most to them, and to review and contribute to the commitments NWG are making to continue to deliver for customers, stakeholders and wider industry. 

Kim Davis, Managing Director at Explain Market Research commented “We were delighted to support the NWG Innovation Festival. The festival demonstrated innovation at every level, from the six sprints and the insights that were uncovered, to the exciting programme of events that kept everyone incredibly engaged throughout the week.”

Elaine Erskine, Strategic Research and Assurance Manager at NWG said “We based ourselves in Flo, our customer engagement vehicle, throughout the Festival before moving to Northumberland Street in Newcastle for one day to seek views on the progress being made within the sprints and to allow more of our customers to ‘Have Your Say’. It was great that Explain were able to support us with our customer and stakeholder engagement as it is important that we gather broad and far reaching customer and stakeholder insights to help us shape our business plan.”

Based in Newcastle upon Tyne, Explain has provided full-service market research solutions to a range of organisations for over two decades, with specialist knowledge and expertise in the utilities, healthcare and financial services sectors. Delivering innovative insights is at the forefront of their culture. Explain have worked in unique partnership with NWG for over 20 years.

Demonstrating their commitment to innovation, Explain Market Research and NWG have been announced as speakers at the first Market Research Society (MRS) Utilities Conference 2017. The event, which will take place on 21 September 2017, will showcase how utility suppliers are meeting regulators' recommendations and taking a truly innovative and holistic approach to research which is driving customer choice, satisfaction, engagement and promoting behaviour change.

Sage Bellway

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